Facing and Overcoming Academic Challenges: Perspectives From Deaf Latino/a First-Generation College Students

Torres, 2019 / American Annals of the Deaf / May 2019

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The author examined the experiences of first-generation Latino/a college students who graduated from college and those who did not graduate. It was found that the first-generation deaf Latino/a college graduates in the study had similar experiences growing up, attending high school, and attending college to those of first-generation hearing Latino/a college students. These experiences related to parents' education levels, the linguistic environment at home, parent-school interactions, preparation for college, and stress related to minority status. Data from the participants' interviews revealed other variables that possibly contributed to their academic success in college. These variables included having the expectation that they would pursue higher education; establishing goals; taking advantage of support services; and possessing the personal characteristics of assertiveness and independence. The author also describes how the study participants faced and overcame the academic challenges common to first-generation Latino/a college students.